EASE IN ACQUISITION—1
Got my cans of Runa as samples, but bottled variants are available on their website. For some reason, though, I can’t seem to find where to order it in cans, so if interested, realize you’re probably going to wind up buying something different than what I’m reviewing.
It’s not often I get something as new and unusual as Runa, and at the same time, it’s not often that something this unique gets so little attention in the packaging department. For starters, Runa is made from the tea of a caffeinated plant that I hadn’t so much as heard of before reviews for Runa started popping up on various review sites (possessedbycaffeine.com and caffeineking101.blogspot.com). While you can find yerba mata and tea-based energy beverages just about anywhere (even Wal-Mart has Sambazon), Runa’s guayusa base is a first, and really deserves some special attention. That being said, if you’ve got something as unique and cool as this on your hands, why not show it on the can? Why would you stick it in something so bland as the bare aluminum it comes in, and leave the advertising of the guayusa at the mere mentioning of it in the small, 12-point font band at the bottom of the can? Like I said, the fact that guayusa is very cool—but it’s something that needs to be boldly advertised with bright and beautiful imagery on every single freaking can (I know they can do it, just check out the bottles on the website!); as is this is something that most people would just pass over.
I was primed to enjoy my can of Runa—popping the can open I was hit with a wondrous earthy scent, and pouring it out into my Energy Glass I found the warm red-brown color to be quite pleasing. That’s one of the reasons I hate to say that Runa tastes really, really, really bad.
Fortunately it doesn’t reach the depths of chemical monstrosities like Dynapep or Aeroshot, but in this case the all-natural nature of the drink is small comfort; it’s like nothing so much as very bitter carbonated straw. It was bad enough that getting down all iced 8.4 oz was a challenge—it’s been a very long time since I’ve had this much trouble getting down so little liquid.
At the same time, I’d like to give it a try again, but knowing what awaits, I would dump in a teaspoon of raw sugar or two (organic free-trade kosher sugar distilled from the tears of joy shed by free-range unicorns, if it makes you feel any better), just to see if a little sweetness offsets the bitterness at all. Given the chance, I will do so and report my findings at that time.
The other reason why I so hate that Runa tastes so bad is that I so like its kick. This is not an exceptionally intense energy drink, loaded with anhydrous caffeine and all manner of other purported energy-boosting ingredients. The logo “clean energy” actually describes it quite nicely—a spotless mid-range boost, free of the jittery contaminants common to most energy drinks.
Approximately three hours passed before I was ready to hit the couch. No crash—just felt nice and tired.
THE DRINK OVERALL—5
It’s really a pity that this novel beverage tastes so bad; otherwise I’d be happy to recommend it for the all-natural ingredients and smooth kick. I see that Runa has a plethora of drinks on their site, enough that you can justify shying away from this one in favor of one that (in all likelihood) tastes better.
KEYWORDS: Runa energy drink review, Runa Clean Energy, all natural, guayusa, zero carb, zero sugar, zero calorie